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    Finding the Connection

    Dr. Smith and Dr. Bayley with students from Southwest University (China) who are participating in the Reciprocal Learning Program
    Dr. Smith and Dr. Bayley with students from Southwest University (China) who are participating in the University of Windsor Faculty of Education Reciprocal Learning Program

    Colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada are increasingly becoming ethnoculturally and linguistically diverse which is partially due to increasing enrolment of international students. Currently, 1.4 million international students choose to study at Canadian and U.S. post-secondary educational institutions, which increased by 7.1 percent between 2015 and 2016 (Canadian Bureau of International Education, 2016; Institute of International Education, 2016).

    Currently, campus internationalization initiatives focus primarily on external areas including education abroad and student exchange, recruiting international students, and institutional partnerships. However, this is expected to change as more institutions are developing academic-related internationalization initiatives (e.g., international or global student learning outcomes, related general education requirements, foreign language requirements).  A growing number of institutions are increasing faculty engagement in internationalization efforts. To do this, faculty will need to critically examine their role in campus internationalization and implement teaching strategies that address international student success factors.

    In a recent study, we explored the promising teaching practices for teaching linguistically and culturally-diverse international students by identifying the teaching practices that have high levels of international student satisfaction and student perceptions of learning.  This study is based on the belief that the most effective teaching practices are where promising teaching practices, student satisfaction, and student perceptions of learning meet.

    We found that the promising teaching practices identified as having high levels of student satisfaction also have medium/high student perception levels of learning.  We also found a positive correlation between student satisfaction and student perceptions of learning for each of the promising teaching practices.  In particular, fourteen correlations were reported at the .700 level or higher, suggesting a strong positive correlation, including assessing needs, assignments, clarifying expectations, class preparation, culturally-responsive teaching, feedback, and language proficiency.  Our hope is that faculty who engage in these teaching practices will become more engaged in campus internationalization and improve international student success on their campuses.

    We are currently engaged in a student-informed research project that will see us compare international student satisfaction for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and non-STEM international students to learn more about why STEM and non-STEM students have different views on the effectiveness of the promising teaching practices.

    For more information and to follow our project, here is the link to our research web page.

    Yours internationally,

    Clayton Smith

     

    References

    Canadian Bureau of International Education (2016).  A world of learning: Canada’s performance and potential in International education.  Ottawa: CBIE.

    Institute of International Education (2016).  Open doors 2016.  New York, NY: IIE.


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